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SC man who survived car crash urges use of this phone function in case of emergency

Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Parker Robinson was driving home to Columbia after a weekend in Atlanta visiting friends.

The next thing he says he remembers, “I woke up in a hospital bed with my legs in casts.”

Robinson, a University of South Carolina grad, was hit head-on by another driver. Highway Patrol had to extract him from his car and sent him off to a hospital in Augusta. His family, home in Columbia, didn’t hear about the crash until four hours later.

“When the highway patrolman called, he did mention that night that they could not get into Parker’s phone because he didn’t have his Medical ID set up,” Casey Robinson, Parker’s father, said.

Officers attempted to get into Parker’s phone to contact family, but without the iPhone’s Medical ID turned on and Parker unable to give his passcode, the attempts were stalled until Parker said the passcode in a moment of clarity at the hospital. Medical ID, a function of the iPhone’s health app, allows emergency personnel or people helping in a crisis, to access the phone’s emergency contacts and medical information like allergies, blood type, and birth date.

“I felt terrible after hearing what my parents had to go through,” Parker said, “I thought I had it set up on my phone. I’ve had several of my friends reach out to me since the accident and say, ‘thanks for letting us know about this...my parents, my brothers and sisters and friends are doing it now’.”

The process to set up Medical ID on an iPhone, found on Apple’s website, is simple.

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
  3. Under Medical Details, tap Medical ID.
  4. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  5. To make your Medical ID available from the Lock screen on your iPhone, turn on Show When Locked. In an emergency, this gives information to people who want to help. To share your Medical ID with emergency responders, turn on Share During Emergency Call. When you make a call or send a text to emergency services on your iPhone or Apple Watch, your Medical ID will automatically be shared with emergency services.*
  6. Enter health information like your date of birth, allergies, and blood type. Tap Done.

For Android users, the process is similar but requires a specific app called “Medical ID (Free) ICE Contacts”

You can find the step-by-step information for the app here.

Parker has recovered immensely since the accident and was able to walk out of the Midlands Regional Rehabilitation Hospital and return home.

Casey Robinson, Parker’s dad, says everyone should make sure this feature is turned on and share with loved ones, “treat that phone with responsibility and turn on Medical ID. I hope no one ever has to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you did.”

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